An elegant cookbook devoted entirely to American beef is one of the fruits of a Japanese media team USMEF brought to the U.S. in July. The writer for ELLE a table, a high-end international food magazine that introduces upscale restaurants and global cuisine trends, was part of the journalist team visit made possible by the Beef Checkoff Program and the USDA Market Access Program (MAP).
The ELLE a table writer interviewed seven chefs in Japan and the U.S., and published their favorite U.S. beef recipes. For example, the chef from Dean & Deluca Tokyo introduced beef tenderloin in a chilled dish while the chef from Fette Sau, a popular Brooklyn barbecue restaurant, explained how to barbecue U.S. rib eye. Restaurants from Los Angeles and Portland, Ore., also are featured in the cookbook, “Sophisticated Beef Recipes: Using American Beef.”
“After visiting ranches and restaurants in the U.S. and seeing the care that goes into production of American beef, the writer decided that U.S. beef deserved its own recipe book and profile with a perspective both from Japan and the States,” said Tazuko Hijikata, USMEF-Japan senior manager for consumer affairs.
“ELLE a table reaches opinion leaders in the food industry,” added Hijikata. “Some restaurants the author described in the magazine were later profiled on television programs in Japan and have seen their business increase.”
A number of the Japanese chefs featured in the book had been advocates for U.S. beef, but switched to other suppliers after the first American BSE case in 2003. The ELLE a table project helped reacquaint them with the quality and value of U.S. beef and inspired them to begin using it in their own restaurants again.
The slick full-color 96-page book, which features 74 recipes for dishes centered around U.S. beef, has a circulation of 40,000.
In addition to the free-standing recipe book, the editorial department of ELLE a table inserted a shortened version into an issue of the magazine to help build awareness of the book and to promote the quality and tastiness of American beef.
Among the features in the book is a profile of a family-owned farm in Oregon. Titled “Country Natural Beef,” the article explains how carefully the family produces beef in the great outdoors of the United States. The author introduces the profile with: “Discover the secrets: why American beef is so tasty.”
USMEF-Japan worked with ELLE a table in anticipation of the recent decision by Japan to expand access for U.S. beef to product from cattle up to 30 months of age.
Last year U.S. beef exports to Japan jumped 18 percent in value over 2011, reaching $1.03 billion. Export volume (152,763 metric tons or 336.8 million pounds) was slightly lower.